Hamadryas Baboon

(Papio hamadryas)

Hamadryas baboons are very social animals that communicate with each other in several different ways. They primarily use body language, but also make use of their facial expressions and loud calls. In their habitats in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, they feel especially at home in rocky environments.


Africa, Ethiopia to Eritrea, Arabic peninsula

preferably rocky semi-arid terrains

These omnivores aren't all too selective: in addition to grass, herbs and roots, they're also happy to eat fruit, insects, lizards and bird's eggs. They travel around 20 km per day to find food.

Not endangered

61 to 76 cm (head-trunk-length)

Males about 21 kg, females about 9 kg

Gestation period
approx. 5,5 months


Strong Signals
If females are ready to mate, their backside swells up and takes on a bright crimson colour. Their glowing backsides prevent both sexes from losing sight of each other when travelling – almost like rear fog lamps. If a baboon feels threatened, it bares its fearsome teeth.

Social Grooming
Not only does this ritual help maintain bodily hygiene, it also strengthens social cohesion. Furthermore, it is believed to be a type of currency for previously granted favours within the group. A system of give and take.

Did you know...
... Hamadryas baboon males have silver-grey fur while females have grey-brown fur, the males' manes extend down to their waist like a jacket and males live in a harem with multiple females and their young?